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By Julie Pennell

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The weather is getting warmer (yay!), and it’s the perfect time to start setting up your outdoor living space.

What used to typically be an afterthought, patios and backyards are now being valued more and more as an extension of the house, according to interior designer Emilie Munroe who runs the San Francisco-based design firm Studio Munroe.

“You want to approach (decorating your outdoor space) like you’re buying furniture for inside your home,” she told TODAY Home, adding that the idea of indoor/outdoor living is very popular right now.

Looking to create a fun outdoor space? TODAY rounded up the top online retailers for patio furniture. Happy shopping!

1. Wayfair

This giant home goods retailer has tons of pieces to make your outdoor area feel livable — and pretty. Not only does the site have outdoor furniture, but also all the other accessories you need to jazz up your open-air space including pillows, lights, grills, and even backyard games.

Lawson Sofa With Cushions by Birch Lane Heritage, $566 (originally $708), Wayfair

The frame of this outdoor sofa is made from steel and wrapped in a resin wicker that gives it a beachy vibe, all while being rust- and water-resistant. The cushions are available in three colors: sand, navy and sangria.

Ridgeline Solid Wood Folding Adirondack Chair by Birch Lane Heritage, $90 (originally $126), Wayfair

Another way to make your outdoor space feel like the beach is by adding an Adirondack chair. It earns bonus points for being able to fold up during the winter months.

2. Amazon

You really can buy almost everything on this site, and that includes quality outdoor furniture (plus supplies for future your al fresco dinner parties). Below are some of the bestselling patio pieces from Amazon.

Keter Urban Knit Pouf Set, $99, Amazon

Poufs are very popular for indoor home furnishings right now, and this product gives you the same look outside. The set includes two seats and a small table that you can mix and match with your other furniture. Each piece is made with a rust-proof polypropylene resin material.

Mad Mats Oriental Turkish Indoor/Outdoor Floor Mat, $51 - $143, Amazon

Not only are these outdoor rugs colorful and beautifully designed, we can also confirm that they hold up well. One owner told us that she’s had one for three years and it’s “still completely perfect.”

3. The Home Depot

This home improvement retailer has a large outdoor living section including patio furniture, decor and outdoor rugs.

Hampton Bay Haze Blue Metal Garden Stool, $42, The Home Depot

Add a pop of color to your furniture with this small metal side table.

Hampton Bay 12-Light 24 Ft. Black Commercial String Light, $30, The Home Depot

Create a nice ambiance for your evening get-togethers with these outdoor string lights featuring 11-watt clear incandescent bulbs.

4. Walmart

This superstore is a great place to find patio furniture and accessories, especially when you’re on a budget. See our picks below for some of the best bang-for-your-buck pieces at Walmart.

Acapulco Patio Chair All-Weather Weave Lounge Chair Patio Sun Oval Chair, $190, Walmart

Available in a variety of colors, this retro oval chair will add a designer look to your space without the big designer price tag.

Suncast Elements Resin Club Chair with Storage, $119 - $129, Walmart

If you’re short on space, this multifunctional piece is great because it’s not just a chair — there’s also storage under the seat.

5. IKEA

Some assembly may be required for the furniture you buy at this retailer, but it'll be worth it for the price. Ikea is also a great place to scoop up some fun decor accessories to liven up your outdoor area.

Applaro Outdoor Bench, $65, IKEA

A simple classic wooden bench provides extra seating to your outdoor oasis.

Runnen Outdoor Decking, $25 per pack, IKEA

If you’re looking to give a balcony or small courtyard an inexpensive makeover, we recommend this decking that snaps together to fit the area you’re working with. It's best for a covered area because the sun can bleach the dark wood color.

6. Cost Plus World Market

You can usually find unique-looking pieces at this specialty retailer. Below are some of our picks for patio furniture and accessories.

Gray Rapallo Outdoor Occasional Chair, $300, Cost Plus World Market

This cool outdoor chair feels both modern and stylish — it's not your typical outdoor lounge chair design. The top is made from a steel frame covered with nautical rope while the base is made from eucalyptus wood.

Small Faux Cement Palmera Outdoor Accent Table, $80, Cost Plus World Market

This faux cement tabletop gives a contemporary look to your outdoor space and provides an extra spot to place a drink.

7. West Elm

We love the trendy pieces that can be found at this furniture and home decor retailer. From small accessories like planters to larger fixtures like tables, West Elm has a great selection for your patio space.

Tambor Concrete Outdoor Drum Coffee Table, $262 (originally $349), West Elm

This industrial-style cement outdoor table will not only hold your food and drinks, but also makes a pretty accent piece.

Faceted Modern Planters, $36 - $111 (originally $49-$149), West Elm

Pretty up your patio plants with these modern planters made from Fiberstone, a blend of stone and resin.

Tips for choosing the best patio furniture

Munroe’s golden rule when buying patio furniture? Stay away from the matching sets, and instead mix textures, materials and colors. That also means purchasing items from different vendors and manufacturers. “It’ll make the outdoor space feel more like a room,” she explained.

“People don’t realize there’s as much diversity in outdoor furniture as indoor furniture,” Munroe added. “Don’t be afraid to research and find fabrics you love — don’t settle.”

  1. Figure out the right scale. This is especially important when you’re purchasing furniture online. “Use painter's tape, and tape (the measurements of the piece) out on the ground first,” Munroe suggested. That way you’ll be able to make sure it fits and feels good in the space before you have it delivered.

  2. Choose a sofa or chair with loose cushions. Whether the frame is metal, woven or wood, if it has upholstered cushions, it’s best if they are freestanding so that you can bring them in during the winter months or change out the covers when you get tired of them in the years ahead.

  3. Think about the functionality you want. Do you want to be able to rest your drink on an arm rest? Would you rather something wide you can curl up on with your feet under you? Do you need extra storage space? These are all things to consider when picking out the furniture that will work best for you and your family.

  4. Don’t forget the accessories. Munroe said there are some amazing outdoor rugs that can bring warmth and personality to an outdoor space. You could also make the area extra cozy with string lights or even a fire pit (if allowed by your city ordinance). And ottomans are a comfy way to kick up your feet, but don’t forget to mix and match it with the chair, she reminded.

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